With the help of his mechanic buddy, an engineer, and the company's attractive new publicist, an automotive test driver struggles to develop a new carburetor by entering cars in the Indy 500 and speed trials at California's Muroc Dry Lake.
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Roy Del Ruth
Terry is the chief car tester for Emery Motors and Frank is an Engineer. Jane has just been hired to work in publicity. Frank and Terry both want Jane to be their girl. Terry has designed a new carburetor that should bring him fame and money, but he cannot get it to work correctly. Terry and Gadget have tested it for over a year, but it still is not perfected. Emery Motors assigns Frank to help Terry with the carburetor, but Terry is not happy because Frank is an Engineer and is also vying for Jane. They finish the carburetor, and to test it, they enter a car in the Indianapolis 500 race. Terry is not yet satisfied with the carburetor before the big race even though it has passed all the tests. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
The end of the film has a fictional recreation of Malcolm Campbell's record-breaking 300 mph drive at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. However, his book,"My Thirty Years of Speed", published a year earlier, was not used as the basis of this movie. See more »
The new 1936 cars produced by the fictional Emery Motors Co. are seen coming down the assembly line with large 'Plymouth' placards in the rear door windows. See more »
If Miss Mitchell were a boy who would someday inherit 52% of the company, everyone would applaud her for coming out to learn things from the bottom. Well, a girl can have horse sense too!
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Nope, not that Speed. Here we have one of Jimmy Stewart's first starring roles. He plays a test driver (sort of a living crash test dummy) for Emery Motors with ambitions to become something more and win the heart of pretty Wendy Barrie. So he designs a new carburetor and works with a rival to make it work before testing it out at the Indianapolis 500.
Jimmy Stewart fans might be a little surprised by this one. This isn't the usual likable guy-next-door Jimmy we all know and love. In fact, he's kind of a jerk at times. But that's the way the character is written so we can't fault Jimmy much for that. It feels like it was written with someone like James Cagney in mind. Weldon Heyburn (who?) plays Jimmy's rival for Wendy Barrie. Ted Healey plays Jimmy's comic relief best friend. The always adorable Una Merkel has a supporting part as an executive at Emery. Pretty surprising to see that, given the time in which this was made. Of course, she's in love with Heyburn's character and wonders aloud if the promotion to executive was worthwhile since it's come between them. But she never gives up her career during the film. There's also some talk at the end about gender fairness as relates to Wendy Barrie's character ("A girl can have horse sense, too!"). So this is pretty forward-thinking for a B picture from 1936.
The movie makes good use of rear projection effects and stock footage. It's interesting stuff if you're an automotive history buff. I liked seeing the old cars, auto factories, and the racing and crash footage. The "Falcon" car that Jimmy drives in the exciting climax was created just for the picture and it's pretty cool. All in all it's a decent movie with a few extras that make it a little more interesting than you might expect.
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